Tony Jones, one of the Tribune’s Utah Jazz beat reporters, will answer questions submitted on Twitter each week in his Jazz mailbag. Here are this week’s questions and answers.
The Jazz love Klay Thompson, but so does the rest of the league. I envision the franchise doing everything it can to maintain cap flexibility with the 2019 free agency period in mind. At the same time, 2019 is worlds away in NBA time. So much can happen in a year and a half. Utah’s immediate worry is finishing this season and fortifying its roster in the 2018 offseason. Then they will worry about the 2018-19 regular season and finally the summer of 2019.
The Jazz value Derrick Favors and won’t give him away for pennies on the dollar. At the same time, I would be surprised if he’s on the roster past the trade deadline, and I would be shocked if he signed with the team in unrestricted free agency. Favors is more of a center in today’s NBA, and he’s a starting center at that. Because of those factors, he simply no longer works with the Jazz. So odds are Favors is playing his last games in a Utah uniform. As for Ricky Rubio, I don’t get the sense that he’s really on the trade block.
First, you can see the responses online at sltrib.com. Second, Joe Ingles just has to trust his jumper and be aggressive with it. That’s against the style he’s always played with, so I can see why he has passed shots up. But he’s a great shooter and he’s the guy the Jazz want taking 3-pointers more than anyone on the roster. Third, the Jazz are in need of a dynamic offensive player at the power forward spot, someone who can score 17 to 20 points per game. That’s by far their biggest need at the moment.
#TonyTalks: Say you are Dennis Lindsey and you need to trade by the Feb. 8 deadline. Whom do you acquire for Utah, whom do you trade to acquire them, and how do you do it (i.e., working Lindsey wizardry in a three-team-plus situation, if it’s not just a two-way deal)? @tribjazz— Alexander Ortega (@_aortega_) January 24, 2018
Names always pop up at the last minute, so being specific is irresponsible. Here’s the prototype of what the Jazz are looking for: They want a playmaking power forward, someone who not only can shoot the ball with range, but someone who can put the ball on the floor and make plays for himself and others. They are looking for more shooting on the perimeter. Those are the two main things they are looking for. They also want assets — picks, which they may or may not be able to garner. As for players being sent out, that remains to be seen. But the Jazz have been very active in talks. And names that have come up are Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood. Joe Johnson is a buyout candidate, if he isn’t traded. Teams have called and shown interest in Raul Neto, according to league sources.
No. If somehow those three ended up on the same roster, one of them would have to come off the bench. None of them can guard perimeter players.